FTW vs. WTF: The TV Week in Review (April 14)

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Did you know that the federal government accepts "was busy reading TV.com's 'FTW vs. WTF' story" as a legal reason for filing your taxes late? It's totally true*, so put your $300 worth of Fudgcicle receipts back in that shoebox, pick up that remote control, and settle in for another edition of the things that made us drool and things that weren't so cool in the week of television. 

* Technically this is only true if you have a working time machine or are a Republican presidential candidate.


FTW



The Simpsons breaks bad in a new couch gag

Marge cooks up a mean batch of addictive blue cupcakes in this ultimate honor for the AMC drama, which is scheduled to air tonight in place of the regular couch gag. We can only assume Ned Flanders would be the proprietor of Pollos Diddlyos Hermanos.



The special effects reel from the The Walking Dead's third season

Okay, it's really just an excuse to watch some of the season's best zombie kills all over again.

 


More awesome Walking Dead DVD packaging

Another Walking Dead entry that isn't actually about the show (that finale still stinks!): Check out this box for the Season 3 Blu-ray set, modeled after The Governor's fish tanks. 



FearNet adopts the late, great Reaper

The niche cable channel will air both seasons of the CW series starring Brett Harrison as a lackey for Satan and Tyler Labine as a very Tyler Labine-ish buddy sidekick starting June 4, AND they've planned a mini-reunion special with Harrison, Labine, and the devil himself, Ray wise.



Ron Swanson goes to the doctor

His answers to Anne's questions about his medical history—and later his struggles to eat a banana—were highlights of this week's Parks and Rec. Another FTW: Leslie and April's search for a new Director of Animal Control, mostly for the awkward interviews they had to stuffer through. Good to see you again, Orrin!


Archer's watery finale


Despite an at-times lackluster season, Thursday's Season 4 finale delivered the goods. A deranged (but incredibly well-paid) Captain Murphy was killed by an off-brand soda machine that he himself had just restocked (oh the cruel irony!), and Jon Hamm was pitch-perfect for the part. Best of all, those hijinks were hysterical even without a working knowledge of Sealab 2021, another show created by Adam Reed. Oh, and did we mention that Lana's preggers, and the baby's not Cyril's? That should make for some very entertaining espionage silliness. Also: We really hope that Krieger can repair Ray's legs.



Flowers of Evil embraces decay, even in its animation


The anime Flowers of Evil (based on the manga of the same name) premiered this week, and in a controversial move, it eschewed more standard forms of animation for a rotoscoping process that often looks half-finished. But the rotoscoping fed into the sense of rural city decay (there were ruined signs and untended plants all over the place), as if the characters themselves were slowly slipping away. The animation will likely end up feeling even more fitting as the story kicks into gear, and as questions about identity, fetishes, love, and lust enter the narrative. (Psst! If you're interested, you can stream the show Crunchyroll.)



Shameless clears the decks


The Season 3 finale left a lot of grief in its wake, but it smartly wrote off a number of stagnant relationships and characters. By the time the credits rolled, Jimmy was most likely dead and Lip's long-time romantic interest Karen was brain-damaged and being shipped off to Arizona to recover with her sex-addicted former husband and special-needs child. Mickey and Mandy Milkovich were left in limbo as Ian headed to the military (illegally) and Lip pondered a future at MIT. And Frank got word that his lifetime of drinking and drugging just may be on the verge of killing him. But while all of that may sound crazy, the episode actually set up a world of possibilities for the fourth season of one of television's most unique shows, one that can balance dark comedy and tragedy with ease.



Hannibal's opening sequence

For a show about murder, Hannibal sure is good-looking, and the opening sequence, which debuted with Episode 2, is perfectly paired. Just like liver and chianti!



Glee stages a school shooting, doesn't completely f*ck it up

"Shooting Star" wasn't without its faults. But the the lockdown scenes were terrifying, emotional, and surprisingly well-done.



Boss Peggy!!!

Mad Men is back! And thankfully, the Season 6 premiere quashed any outstanding concerns that we might not see much of Miss Olsen now that she's no longer part of SCDP. We're definitely looking forward to seeing more of the Lady Don Draper in action at Cutler, Gleason & Chaough. 



Community's puppet episode gives us all the felts


Even during the Harmon era, a puppet episode of Community would have seemed, on paper, a little too precious. Yet, despite Season 4's struggles, "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" suggested that the reconfigured creative team is starting to figure out how to make a pretty solid version of the show. The episode fully committed to a Muppets style, complete with whimsy, songs that walked the line between catchy and cheesy, and a random, quick guest appearance. Plus, it was funny!



Lindsay Lohan's appearance on Late Night

Yeah yeah, Lindsay Lohan is frequently the worst. And David Letterman isn't exactly known for his warmth. But somehow the combination resulted in a pretty honest, genuine interview, and she handled his questions about rehab with a lot more poise and humor than we ever could've expected.



Nathan For You's Claw of Shame


There's funny, and then there's exhilarating, intelligent, and profoundly silly, and Nathan Fielder's slam-dunk of a stunt episode, "The Claw of Shame," boasted all three of those qualities. In an effort to prove how willing the normally reckless small business adviser was to put himself at risk, the episode centered on an elaborate, ludicrous escape: If Fielder failed to make his way out of handcuffs in under 90 seconds, a robotic claw would pull his pants down in front of a crowd of children, officially making him a registered sex offender. On hand were a police officer and judge to ensure this happened. It was perfectly executed jaw-dropping comedy, and explored television's absurd sensationalism in a wholly entertaining fashion.



Spartacus meets the gods proudly


After three seasons and one miniseries, Spartacus passed on to the afterlife in triumphant fashion. “Victory” was an exhilarating, moving coda to a series that’s always worn its emotions boldly on its sleeve. Yes, it trafficked in operatic violence and copious sexuality, but it also wrangled with philosophical themes of freedom, justice, love, death, and power that are as relevant today as they were in 71 B.C. When more and more people discover this show on home video in years to come, they can look forward to a satisfying run all the way through the very last moment.



WTF




Ready for Love leaves us ready to barf

Eva Longoria's new dating show was even worse than we thought it would be! And the hot stud showcased, a Plain White Ts band member, was about as into it as we were.



Why oh why is there a show called Bet On Your Baby?

ABC has apparently decided to get a jump on the absurd game shows that the broadcast networks trot out during the summer. Parents bet on whether or not their kiddo (who is more of a toddler than a baby) can complete some sort of task, like spinning in circles or stacking cookies without eating them (like an adult would be capable of that, let alone a child!) in the BABY DOME, in hopes of winning scholarship money for the tyke. It'd be cute and/or exploitative if it weren't so weirdly boring at times. We hope the prize money will be adjusted for 20 years worth of skyrocketing college tuition and fees.



Aidan mind-roofies Kat on Being Human


Sure, it's really inconvenient when your girlfriend stumbles upon the rotting corpse of your roommate just as your relationship is starting to take off... but getting your vampire frenemy to wipe her memory so you can keep having boring human sex is kind of skeevy.



Revolution can't handcuff anyone

Not only does the electricity not work in the NBC action-adventure show, but chains, handcuffs, zip-ties, ropes, knots, those plastic six-pack holders, blindfolds that become kinky wrist restraints, super glue, and anything else that could possibly be used to restrain someone are all useless, as evidenced by the many escape artists we've so far. The latest Houdini to free himself was Tom Neville, who used a giant screw to break his binds.


What's on YOUR list of TV loves and hates this week?

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